A Wonderful British School Mid-20thC Life Size Composition Sculpture of a Girl, Dated to 1963

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Origin: British
Period: Mid-20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1963
Height: 55.5”
The Base: 13” x 13.5” (at extremities)

The wonderfully realised life-size sculpture of a young girl with short hair and an angular slim body, modelled in composition plaster over an armature and a weighted base, finished to imitate bronze, the girl wearing a roughly sketched out dress and having bare feet, standing on rocky outcrop base, being signed and dated ‘63 Storch’ survives from mid-century Britain.

The condition of the sculpture is stable and good all round. There are one or two very small areas of loss to the surface but nothing missing of importance. She stands true and stable and proves relatively light, being hollow, save the weighted base. She could be cleaned if so desired.

The signature and date of ‘63 is of course illuminating but we cannot find an artists by the name of Storch that would be appropriate for this style of work. The surname is one that is associated with creative; there are several artists and sculptors of the name, both dead and alive. Benjamin, Arthur and Tove Storch, for example are not contenders so this appropriation, for now, remains unsolved.

The girl stands, relaxed as if looking out to sea, and the rock base would suggest she may have been intended to be within this type of environment. The back of the work is rather crude even if it depicts the loose dress the girl is wearing and the whole has a deliberate rather unfinished feel and the overall finish is that of faux bronze. It is possible that this could be a student work, but we do feel the rather instinctual and spontaneous execution points to a talented artist.

The style of this work is not dissimilar to the sculptures of Georg Ehrlich [1897-1966] who worked a lot in England and we wonder if he had been an influence on our artist. A terracotta bust of the adolescent Alan Clark, dating from 1943 is very similar in its style and execution to this work, featuring those ‘non-eyes’, which recur in Ehrlich’s sculptures, either scratched out as in the bust of Britten or as little scooped-out hollows as we see here. The absence of the windows of the soul is perhaps a little disconcerting and in this instance it makes the viewer aware of the vulnerability of the subject, which seems a prominent characteristic as Ehrlich specialised in children and animals, both of which are innocent and vulnerable to a certain extent, a quality we see here.

This wonderfully memorable and fluid piece feels as though she has, just this very minute, risen from a corner of the artists mind into a beautifully realised piece of sculpture.

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